Wednesday, 28 September 2016

9 Packing Tips for your next City Break

A multi stop getaway is the hardest to pack for.  You need to pack light…. if you can and anything that makes life easier is worth knowing about.  As someone who’s done many of these, some with, but most now without a packing breakdown these are my latest travel tricks and tips.  They’ll all be coming with me on the next one.

The first three are for coffee addicts.  I like to have a hot coffee at my side whenever I’m sat at my laptop but frankly shelling out for endless coffees, from a hotel or Starbucks, can quickly add up, so these are what I’m take with me:

Contigo Autoseal Travel MugTravel Cup BoilerBeanies mini instant coffee jars
Contigo Autoseal Travel Mug – this is without question the best heat-holding travel mug I have ever come across.  Take it with you and it won’t spill (unless you don’t do it up properly).  Get it filled up at the local coffee shop or make your own and it’ll keep hot for hours.

Mini cup boiler.  This will give you a cup of boiling hot water in a couple of minutes.  It takes up very little space and is extremely light.  Just don’t forget your adaptor….

Finally these Beanies’ flavoured mini coffee jars are such a good idea for coffee lovers who like something different now and again.  Take the whole jar or decant a couple of flavours into these mini storage containers.  Either way for coffee on the go they’re unbeatable.

On a multi-stop getaway packing and unpacking can be a real bore.  Or you have the choice of leaving everything in your case which can so easily end up in a mess.  Using separate packing bags for different groups of things – gym things/lingerie/tops etc can make life a lot easier provided you can see inside.  You can just take out what you need each time and your case will stay tidy. 

Pack Mate packing storage bagsGo Travel zipped packing bagsDigital luggage scale
Pack Mate travel storage bags are brilliant if you’re short of space and want to get a lot in your bag.  Once you’ve filled them and taken the air out – by rolling, squeezing or vacuum suction – you’ll find you’ve created lots more room.  Only one drawback, obviously they may create space but they don’t reduce the weight of what you pack so make sure you don’t go over your allowance.

Alternatively you can invest in Go Travel packing bags which come in a set of three.  They’ll certainly look neater and keep your suitcase tidy and you can just put them on shelves or in drawers as they are, unpacking items as you need them.

As someone who never manages to travel light I would never go anywhere without my digital luggage scales.  Don’t be tempted to buy the ones with the wire handle, imagine trying to pick up something heavy with those??  They need to have a long grippable handle, an easy to view read-out and be easily attachable to your bag.  Having twice been caught with an over heavy bag a few years back (and paid a small fortune) my luggage scale sits permanently in a pocket of my most used bag and is used without fail.

The packing of beauty products and toiletries is an emotive subject…well it is to me, anyway.  Do you take that new expensive eye serum or settle for a mini you were given?  How many of your favourite cosmetics should you take?  Do you want to use hotel shampoo and conditioner or can you not live without your own?  These are all very difficult questions and to me it’s come down to a bit of both. 

I’ve said before that you should look out for beauty gifts for your favourite brands.  Lancome, Estee Lauder and Clarins have these regularly in department stores.  Wait to purchase until it’s gift time then take the minis away with you.  Full sizes weigh a ton, as does trying to take two varieties of everything which I have been guilty of many times. 

Orla Kiely Hanging 3 compartment wash bagVintage Floral Hanging WashbagThe Camouflage Company Cam'pouch
I never travel without a hanging washbag which becomes invaluable if you’re staying in several different places as you never have to completely unpack it.  Just hang it up in the bathroom and you’re done. 

Finally I have fallen in love with The Camouflage Company’s Cam’pouch.  Fill it with your eye pencils and brushes, zip it up for travel then simply stand it up and fold it down when you arrive.  No more searching for that extra glass to stand things in, which is what I always do.  Such a brilliant idea.